Tuesday, 10 September 2013

News: Small biogas power plant planned for North Kingstown USA

Small biogas power plant planned for North Kingstown USA

source: quonset.com

A New Hampshire company plans to build a small biogas power plant in the Quonset Business Park that would generate electricity by burning the gas given off  anaerobic digestion this technology  has been largely untried in the United States.
NEO Energy, of Portsmouth, N.H., has plans for two similar facilities in Massachusetts, but the 500-kilowatt Quonset plant appears to be on track to be the first in operation, with a target date set for the end of next year, according to Anthony M. Calandrello, chief operating officer for the company.

The anaerobic digestion process that the Quonset facility would use is a variation of what’s already being done at many sewage treatment plants in the United States that collect methane and then burn it for heat and electricity. Although food-waste digesters are common in Europe, where there are thousands of such facilities, there are very few on this side of the Atlantic

NEO Energy is not the first company to propose tapping biogas as a renewable source of power in Rhode Island. Orbit Energy, of North Carolina, has been working on a plan to build a 3.2-megawatt facility at the Central Landfill in Johnston.

The $10-million plant at Quonset would take 20,000 tons a year of food scraps and use it to generate enough power every year for about 670 typical Rhode Island homes. The organic matter left over would be used to create annually about 1,000 tons of fertilizer. The digester would be sealed and a filtration system would control odors.

The program, which sets ceiling prices for different forms of energy, has mainly benefited wind and solar projects so far, but lawmakers recently expanded its scope to include small hydropower plants and anaerobic digestion. The ceiling price for anaerobic digestion is 18.55 cents per kilowatt hour, significantly higher than power from fossil-fuel plants but competitive with wind and solar.



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